Is it not advisable to study before doing your review?

I’m trying to get into the whole SRS way of studying but there’s something i need to clarify.
Does it mean studying just once, and from that point on, just letting the srs system test u whether u remembered it?

If today i have 60 cards to review, can i take a quick look at what those cards mean first before i do the actual review?

If you study right before your reviews are due, the you are definitely defeating the purpose of SRS. If you are just reading and happen to come across some of the things that are in your SRS that is fine


Which is why i’m confused.
Because the whole SRS intention is to tell us what are the optimum days that we need to revise.
So i wouldn’t be studying on days that the system tells me i don’t need to.
So to study only the cards i need to before i take the review should serve the same original purpose wouldn’t it?
End of the day i still have to study them if i get them wrong. So why not just study them first just before i take the review?

Well there’s a difference between recognizing an answer and recalling an answer. Doing the reviews on WK forces you to recall the answer. Also, if you get a review wrong, it means the SRS interval was too long and you need to go back a level.


The way SRS works is, the system shows you an item just before you’ve forgotten it, which helps retention. If you study the item beforehand every time, that’s short-term memory and defeats the purpose of showing you the item over longer variables of time to promote recall.


ok i see thanks

SRS tries to optimize the number of reviews you need to recall an item. You could review a word 100 times in 100 days, but it is not really necessary (and very inefficient if the number of words you want to learn is >100 or something).

If you learn a new word once, it is unlikely that you remember it 6 months later. You need to repeat it. So you will repeat it 4 hours later, 8 hours later, one day later … For some words maybe you have already learned it to recognize it a few months later, but for others the SRS needs to recognize that you have a problem with the word to repeat it a few times more.

If you just look it up before the review it is not different from learning it brand new, you will recall it 4 hours later. But the SRS will think that you have no problem with the word :frowning:

Note however that if you see the word while reading something it is no problem, you just add more “reviews” than strictly necessary. You just shouldn’t answer reviews in the WK SRS correctly for words you had no clue what they mean just before :slight_smile:


I felt like i needed to do more ‘study’ to improve my retention/accuracy. Now what i do is to write down all the items i fail in a review and then go through them again immediately after the review. I write them down a few times in a row and try to recall them from memory. But only immediately after a review. Then i forget them (sometimes quite literally… but ah well…). Doing this has helped improve my retention without impacting on SRS and ‘cheating’ myself into thinking i know something i don’t.


I’ve accepted that learning Japanese will take the rest of my life. Spend that study time doing something else, like learning phrases or grammar. This site will hammer things you don’t get into your head every four hours until you start to learn it.


But then where does that leave KaniWani? Doesn’t it also interfere with WaniKani‘s SRS system?

I think it does. But the fact that you are basically putting in double the effort will probably benefit you more than cause any negative interference.


When you are unlocking new levels at the same time I don’t think it’s a problem. Let’s say you mess up in KW but get it right in WK afterwards because of this, you still have KW to repeat it properly. In the “natural” condition you are already repeating it more than necessary, so can save the double effort when you fail in just one of them.

It’s similar to the “self-interference” of WK when you have multiple vocab with the same kanji and just mess up the first. One should be enough to keep your problem alive.

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This is precisely why I recommend using KW only on burned items.


I would agree since I tend to remember those those items much better which I reviewed on KaniWani as well.

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Definitely don’t look at the items immediately before they are due for review - this will completely defeat the purpose of the SRS.

Try and learn things properly when they first come in a lesson. Spend time thinking about the stories in the mnemonics. If there are two similar words think about how you will remember which is which. If there is a funny rendaku in there think about how you will remember if it is とさん or とざん.

If you do this well then many items you may not need to study again, and you can just rely on the SRS reviews.

But be aware when something hasn’t stuck from the first lesson. Go back and think about it again - just not immediately before it is due for review! As someone else has suggested a good time to do this is at the end of your reviews.

If you don’t learn it properly the first lesson, you will eventually learn it from repeated reviews in the SRS, but your progress will be slower and you’ll have a lot more reviews to do!

Good luck with studying!

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